blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Bookouture

#BlogTour! #Review – When We Danced at the End of the Pier (@SandyTaylorAuth) @Bookouture



Brighton 1930: Maureen O’Connell is a carefree girl, but her family is on the brink of tragedy, war is looming and life will never be the same again.

Jack and Nelson have always been dear friends to Maureen. Despite their different backgrounds, they’ve seen each other through thick and thin. 

As Maureen blossoms from a little girl into a young woman, the candle she’s always held for Jack burns bright. But just as she’s found love, war wrenches them apart. The man she cherishes with all her heart is leaving. 

When the bombs start to fall, Maureen and her family find themselves living in the most dangerous of times. With Jack no longer by her side and Nelson at war, Maureen has never felt more alone. Can she look to a brighter future? And will she find the true happiness she’s dreamt of?

What does TWG think?

Kicking off a brand new month at TWG HQ is an author’s blog tour courtesy of the rather popular (and fabulous) publishers, Bookouture! Bookouture authors have appeared on TWG once…or twice (cough, cough), so it gives me great pleasure to introduce author of ‘The Brighton Girls Triology’, Sandy Taylor, to TWG for the very first time! Today I have the pleasure of being one of the tour blog tour stops on Sandy’s blog tour for her new book, ‘When We Danced at the End of the Pier’. Hope you enjoy my review!

Sandy Taylor is a brand new author for me, I hadn’t come across her work before but seeing as I have become a huge fan of the historical fiction genre, her book was recommended to me so I gave it a go. What drew me to the storyline at the start was the fact it was predominantly set in Brighton. My family had a lot of ties to Brighton many moons ago so even though I wasn’t the family member to grow up there, reading Sandy Taylor’s novel made me feel as though I was going home. Strange huh.

Unfortunately I struggled with the first quarter of this novel, as I couldn’t quite get to grips with where the storyline was supposed to be heading. At first the storyline was centred around Maureen as a child, living her childhood with her new found friends, as well as trying to understand her family’s issues. Whilst that was still pleasant enough to read, I couldn’t help but want that little bit extra depth.

As the storyline started to unfold, the gritty nature within the book became more apparent. Maureen had become an adult and the war was just around the corner. Whilst the historical factor of the novel was bold, I found that the storyline seemed to focus more on the personal relationships, as well as dealing with a loved one being called up to serve in the war. I loved how it all seemed to personal and, seeing as most historical fiction novels put the history first as opposed to relationships, it was really refreshing to read a book in that genre from a completely different angle. We are all aware of the war times, we can find out the main facts in a couple of seconds thanks to Google, however, we aren’t aware of the personal side. How did the women feel to have their sons/brothers/boyfriends/husbands/friends called up to serve in the war? Who would be the one to let their loved ones know that they had died in combat or were missing in action? What if they were injured and unable to fight in the war, would they be brought back to their loved ones at home?

They are all questions that google can’t really answer unless someone from the war sat down and had an interview. Well, until Sandy Taylor’s novel came along. Yes I struggled with the book at first, but at least I’m honest about that. I also need to be honest that once the storyline showed more love and emotion than ever before, I fell in love with the characters and their lives. Struggling with the novel was a thing of the past. When Sandy Taylor wrote about the bombs falling and loved ones getting caught up in the devastation, I actually became quite emotional as I had never read about the war times so black and white before. Reading the emotional words that the author had given her characters to say gave me goose bumps. I can’t even begin to imagine what on Earth was going through their heads at the time of the bombing. All I do know is that the author has captured those devastating, real and emotional moments rather poignantly, and beautifully.

‘When We Danced at the End of the Pier’ is a truly humbling and emotional read which will leave you thinking about those who fought for our country and for what they believed in.
Such a heart warming and spell binding novel, full of raw emotion, devastating circumstances and friendships strong enough to last a lifetime.

Thank you Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author
Sandy Taylor grew up on a council estate near Brighton. There were no books in the house, so Sandy’s love of the written word was nurtured in the little local library. Leaving school at fifteen, Sandy worked in a series of factories before landing a job at Butlins in Minehead. This career change led her to becoming a singer, a stand up comic and eventually a playwright and novelist.

Make sure you follow the rest of the blog tour for Sandy Taylor’s new novel, all of the bloggers on the tour are listed below. Huge thanks to Bookouture & Kim Nash for inviting me on such an eye-opening blog tour.


book blogger · Book Review

#Review The House of New Beginnings by @LDiamondAuthor @panmacmillan #TheHouseOfNewBeginnings



Number 11, Dukes Square, looks just like the other houses on the Brighton seafront: a Regency terrace with elegant sash windows, a winding staircase, and post piled up in the hall for its tenants. It might be part of the city’s history, but it’s also a place of brand new beginnings.

Georgie has followed her childhood sweetheart to Brighton but is determined to carve out a career for herself in journalism. Throwing herself into the city’s delights is fun and exciting, but before she knows it, she’s sliding into all kinds of trouble . . .

Charlotte’s in the city for a new start, hoping to keep her head down and somehow get over the heartbreaking loss she’s suffered in the past. But Margot, the stylish old lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.

A terrible revelation sent Rosa running from London to start again as a sous chef. The work is gruelling and thankless but it’s a distraction at least . . . until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her on her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa’s passion for food could lead her to more interesting places?

As the three tenants find each other, it’s as if a whole new chapter of their lives has begun. The House of New Beginnings is a moving and uplifting novel from bestselling author Lucy Diamond.

What does TWG think?

Bestselling author, Lucy Diamond, is back with yet another cracking novel. Just when you think her novels cannot get any better, she manages to raise the bar even higher for herself and write another heart-warming read.

We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t lust after a new start at some point in our lives, right? A change of scenery, fresh new faces, a brand new routine and seeing your old life without your rose-tinted glasses. We have all been there, and no doubt whilst you’re reading this, a lot more human beans are deciding to do just that; create a fresh start or a ‘new beginning’ if you will. Maybe a complete house full of new beginnings? I wonder…

Lucy Diamond’s latest novel follows three main characters in particular; Rosa, Georgie and Charlotte. Each lady has their own individual story to tell along with various skeletons in their closets as baggage. Each lady has their own reason as to why a fresh start was needed and, thanks to Number 11, Dukes Square, new life stories will be created. How long their chapters are though, remains to be seen.

Receiving this novel felt as though all my Christmases had come at once (thank you Panmacmillan!)! You know when you have admired an author from afar for years, never in a million years thinking that you would get a chance to talk to that very author, or that you would have a proof copy of their new novel pop through your door, so you jump up and down and stroke the book? Yeahhhhhh, that was me.

Not long after I had picked up Lucy D’s novel, I found myself entranced by every word in front of me. The storyline flowed beautifully and didn’t require too much brainpower to sail through it. The message throughout the novel is one that I feel will resonate with A LOT of readers as I am sure several of them would have been in that position once or twice. I know I have been. Despite that, Lucy Diamond told the story of three ladies life turbulence with such ease and poignancy, that the deep and secretive moments didn’t overshadow the true meaning of the story. As I said above, the novel didn’t require over thinking or the need to play detective when it came to characters pasts. Yes, the entire storyline kept me hooked and curious about the overall outcome, but it wasn’t forced. Every single line, every single chapter, every single emotion had a purpose within the storyline.

Ah-ha! It’s a relaxing sort of read! You know, the type of book that you want to snuggle up with, cuppa on a coaster and chocolate on your lap and just lose yourself in….magic. ‘The House of New Beginnings’ is just THAT. I’m frustrated with myself for not being able to get that out sooner, I do seem to go round the houses a tad, I do apologise!

‘The House of New Beginnings’ is a cosy, poignant and emotional read that may end up becoming your ‘go to’ book for 2017. Full of warm, hilarious moments that are guaranteed to make you smile (as well as shedding a tear), Lucy Diamond’s new novel is most definitely one to watch this year.

Effortlessly brilliant; another fantastic read from the genius that is Lucy Diamond.

You too can get your own copy of The House of New Beginnings right now from: Amazon.